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Five Tips for Starting the Semester with a Bang

A bi-weekly column on Fredericksburg.Today by Elizabeth Colon, Above Grade Level Fredericksburg and Northern Virginia

Back-to- school has its own resolutions, just like New Year’s Day.  Our children are excited, book bag packed and ready! This is a great time to start some new school habits.  Here are five tips for starting the semester with a bang.
Determine Your Child’s Learning Style
For my parents of children grades K-8, Laura Candler has a great FREE resource here (about halfway down the page).  Use this resource to understand your child’s learning style.  I promise you won’t regret it!
For my students in High School, this resource takes an adult approach to learning styles (also free).  It is often used in the adult learning environment for corporate training.  It will help during the high school and college years.
It is important to know that learning styles can change over time, so if you find that the same strategies aren’t working anymore, don’t be afraid to take the questionnaire again.
After you’ve equipped yourself with this knowledge, a quick Google search can provide you with articles to help you understand how to manipulate your students learning according to the style.  I searched “kinesthetic learning strategies” and found this article.

Teach Your Child How to Take (Better) Notes

Always include a title on the page/diagram/list, along with the date.
Listen for emphasis when the teacher speaks, and mark the page with a specific indicator — a star or asterisk.   When the teacher says, “This will be on the test,”  mark that section with a circled T.
Re-read notes regularly and flush them out using the book. Look for any details you may have missed in class.
Record class lectures — don’t forget to get permission first.

Review, and Learn from Mistakes
It’s good practice to review homework and quizzes in preparation for a test.  Make sure your student redoes the problems they didn’t complete correctly.  The goal is to understand why it was wrong.

Start a Study Group
A study group can be a great way for students to talk out questions and concerns, and teach each other..  You can encourage this by setting aside a weekday and time for the group to meet. Provide healthy “brain” snacks.

Don’t Hesitate to Get Help
Don’t let small problems become big ones.  There are so many analogies I could use here: leaky pipe, engine light, dishes.  Tackling the problem when it’s small is the best way to create a stress free dinner table.

Read Elizabeth’s other Fredericksburg.Today columns.
Columns on Fredericksburg.Today are recurrent features on specific topics or by regular contributors.  Guest writers present their own point-of-view and may not necessarily represent the viewpoint of Fredericksburg.Today.

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